I don’t know about you but when I see a beautiful bridge I get all the feels. I just don’t see a structure providing a path but I see something profoundly more meaningful than that. Bridges symbolize many things.
For me personally, a bridge symbolizes hope, resilience, and love. I have experienced depression in the past and my anxiety attacks came in different forms. I believe I was (and most likely still am) experiencing post traumatic syndrome disorder (PTSD) after my son’s first cancer diagnosis (and worse especially after the relapse). Besides my son’s distressful journey with cancer, I’ve also dealt with other heartbreaking situations. My anxiety had resulted to too many sleepless nights. I have reached a point when I thought life wasn’t going to get better, that my happiness will always be limited. I was that troubled water in the song, Bridge Over Troubled Water, but fortunately, I’ve been provided with so many bridges in my life to help me ease my pain.
I have also learned to worry less today, to roll with the punches, and to accept whatever difficult challenges life throws at me.
Because bridges have that profound meaning in my life, I have added something in my bucket list–to cross (on foot) every bridge I come in contact with. You can guess that when I flew to San Francisco, I had one itinerary in mind.
This week was my older son’s spring break. After a 4-day trip to Portland, I decided we’d stay one night in the city before he goes back to Stanford.
It only took us over 20 minutes to walk all the way to the end. My watch showed 1.04 miles one way but according to the official record, it’s 0.8 miles (4200 feet). I’m not exactly sure where it officially starts, but I set my watch from the beginning of the paved walkway on the bridge.
I was just really excited that I was able to cross my first bridge. I didn’t think today was going to be possible since just the day prior, the weather forecast was showing heavy winds in San Francisco. One more thing, I was also satisfying one of my personal challenges that I’ve been working on this year (by the way, this marks my 5th personal challenge).
I had a preconceived idea that crossing the bridge was going to be long and challenging. In fact, it was short and easy. Perhaps just like life, when we’re faced with a difficult challenge, we always perceive it to be more difficult than it seems. But if we are willing to face all the obstacles and not lose hope, it turns out that life really isn’t that bad after all.